filler what? with the middle east in turmoil, experts say gas prices could be headed for the stat sphere. $5 or more a gallon. we have the inside story of america's mounting fuel crisis. plus, the speed of robin. he broke through as an alien and zipped to the top of hollywood. but when old habits caught up, he says he learned how to slow down. tonight, robin williams is seriously funny. and, oscar picks. four academy award nominees, all giving voice to the same unmistakable accent. it's boston's year at the oscars, and that's a "sign of the times." >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," february 25th, 2011.
>> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin tonight with bad news for american drivers. the price of oil jumped 14% this week, the biggest one-week percentage increase in two years. the rise is fueled by the unrest in the middle east, particularly in libya, where today, amid more violence, the united states evacuated its citizens and temporarily closed its embassy. the white house says the libyan president, moammar gadhafi's credibility is, quote, reduced to zero. chris bury is in chicago. >> reporter: the bloody turmoil in libya and the fear of more trouble in other oil-rich nations is sending shock waves from the mid-east to the midwest. they're reverberating, right here in highland, indiana. what happens in the mideast has a direct impact? >> i think so. >> goes up all the time. >> reporter: here at the thornton station, we met up with patrick, a top analyst for the
website gasbuddy.com. its spotters scattered around north america log in real-time data on tens of thousands of gas stations. >> reporter: so, here in highland, ip inn, what are you seeing? >> price is up to $3.23. almost 20-cent increase here in indiana. >> reporter: and what they found this week across the country is remarkab remarkable. u.s. average up a dime in the last week itself. so so, the price is rising very sharply. >> reporter: what's happening in libya is sending oil prices through the roof. the former head of shell oil items us prices are heading even higher. >> $5 as we get close to the election. >> reporter: . >> if anything, the $5 could be accelerated. oil hates turmoil. we're not going to change the demand. the demand is constant, every day. what we could see is interruptions in the supply side. >> reporter: as we headed west on u.s. 41, we pulled into a
pilot gas station and truck stop near the illinois border. margaret was filling up her little with diesel foul. >> today i could pay $600. >> reporter: $600? >> yeah, it's a lot of money. >> reporter: two tank fulls? >> not full. not full. i just prepaid for $600. >> reporter: while we were there, the price jumped 4 cents a gallon fromlon to $3.39. >> there's nothing you can do. >> reporter: we passed the giant refineries in indiana that supply gasoline and jet fuel to much of the midwest. these tanks were filled with oil bought at far lower prices. even so, we'll pay much more for it at the pump. why are prices going up so much if we know that gasoline is stored right next to us over here? >> we're seeing a risk premium that's being assessed by traders on wall street. that means that that gasoline can be sold at the market price,
which is rising. >> reporter: before the unrest in the middle east, daily supply and demand were more evenly balanced. 86 million barrels of production, 86 million of consumption. if libya's share, about 2%, goes away, the balance is upset. meaning places like europe may not have the oil they need and would start competing for supplies. the fear is, the unrest could spread to the number one and number three oil producers. any slowdown there could send prices into the stratosphere. >> it comes as a shock. so, the consumer who needs gasoline has to buy it, pays more for it but doesn't have increased income to do it. >> reporter: as we cross the bridge that took us from indiana into illinois, gas prices change in an instant. >> gas prices just went up. >> that's right. just as simple as that, we're into illinois. >> reporter: check out this map. showing the amazing difference in prices reported by gasbuddy
across the country. top prices in the lower 48 states? $4.79 in orlando, florida. $4.51 at this station in west covina, california, near l.a. >> double check because i was like, is it $3.59 or $4.59? >> reporter: the lowest price, $2.78 at two stations in douglas, wyoming. as we made our way through chicago's south side, it became clear the higher prices are already causing real pain. >> fill it up with a little liquid gold. see what $9 is going to do for me. 2.5 gallons. >> reporter: in places where the economy has never recovered. >> it's becoming a choice, basically, between either eating or buying gas. >> reporter: the latest spike comes after a steady rise, since we began climbing out of the recession. and where is gas going? >> by memorial day, if the situation is still developing in the middle east, we could be looking at prices just under
$4.25 a gallon. that would mean parts of the country could flirt with $5 a gallon gas. >> reporter: all day long, we asked drivers, what price would shock them into driving less? >> if it hits that $5 mark. >> five bucks a gallon. >> reporter: that's the number? >> yeah. that's terrifying. >> reporter: as we made our way to the heart of the big city, the prices were still climbing. when we bid farewell to the man from gasbuddy.com, he was filling up for the long drive back to his home in michigan. and what is the man from gas buddy paying here? >> $3.79 a gallon. >> reporter: too high for you? >> much too high. >> reporter: i'm chris bury for "nightline" in chicago. >> could be a very costly summer. up next, many remember him as mork. but since then, he's been around planet hollywood more than once. we sit down with robin williams. curtis: welcome back to geico radio, it's savings, on the radio.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with sint kra cynthia mcfadden. >> he is one of the world's funniest men and a great dramatic actor to boot. with an oscar, two emmys, four golden globes and five grammys to his credit. robin williams has achieved fame and fortune, but admits in a remarkably candid conversation with my co-anchor bill weir, it has come at a price. robin williams remains seriously funny. >> are you that guy from tv, i go, i was getting ready. he goes, you should get off, you suck. >> reporter: if you were ever lucky enough to hang out with this man, everyone you know will ask, is he really like that all the time? >> he goes, way to go, fat ass.
>> reporter: well, the answer is yes. but his brain has different speeds. kind of the way blenders or humming birds have different speeds. how much of what you do is completely organic the moment and how much of it is worked on? >> sometimes it's worked on. sometimes it's something you think about and then it just waits for the opportunity, the right moment. after watching "the king's speech" and thinking of hitler had an imbedment, we wouldn't have had a problem. everyone has a gps now in their car. what about a moral gps in the equivalent of a moral compass. going, up ahead, girl the same age as your daughter. recalculating. >> reporter: if there's one place that can slow down, it is here in gorgeous morin county, north of san francisco. an area robin has called home since he was a kid, doing dirty dishes at this very restaurant. sometimes you finish a shift, you just jump off the deck.
right here, it's right there. swim around and get out. >> jimmy: you wa . >> reporter: you want to do it now? >> genitals will disappear. this is cold water, dude. even the seals are going, no, no. >> reporter: after tasting the joys of drama in high school, he went to juilliard, found his voice in standup comedy and after moving to hollywood, caught the biggest break of all. in fact, after 30 years and 60 films, it is still the name he hears shouted by most strangers on the street. >> mork. diddy diddy. vary yauss on nanu nanu. pork and sandy, what was that movie, diddy diddy. >> reporter: did that get old ever? >> it paid for the ranch. it paid the bills. it was sweet. at first, i was like, i've got an academy award, but it's what people remember.
>> reporter: after just one season, he was a household name. >> i remember once getting stopped by a cop in l.a. and instead of writing me a ticket he handed me a treatment for a screen play. and he said, he said this, if you don't want to do this, can you hand this off to eddie murphy, i went, cool. >> reporter: but with that massive fame came massive indulgence. and if he is like this sober, just imagine robin williams on cocaine. >> the one thing that cleaned me up was having a kid. that's immediate. that's the thing. and i didn't have any rehab or any, you know, any groups. >> reporter: really? by yourself? >> totally. just kind of took my mother's advice of, vitamins and exercise. when you have a kid, you are pretty much awake and smell like piss so you don't need drugs. you're like, hey, where's the baby? >> reporter: he stayed sober for decades. >> good morning, vietnam! >> reporter: threw four oscar nominations -- >> we read and write poetry because we are members of the
human race. >> reporter: and one win. >> robin williams in "good will hunting." >> this might be the one time i'm speechless. >> reporter: but in recent years, the long dormant demons returned. something he chronicled in his recent sold out comedy tour. >> alcohol is especially dangerous for people like myself, alcoholics. or you can say oath thethanol challenged. >> reporter: you're in a good place now? because five years ago -- >> oh, baby, please. five years ago, what happened was, i relapsed. i was drinking. and, just, not a full-out train wreck, but let's just say, one wheel in the sand. the fear drives all of that. >> reporter: fear of what? >> this business, fear of everything. you know? the idea of, you know, being there and then not. >> reporter: the relapse cost him his marriage. but after rehab, heart surgery and closing in on 60, he says he's closer than ever with his kids, including daughter zelda.
>> yes, she's acting and doing great. she's made a lot of movies. i can't watch them because she gets killed. i go, that's my daughter, the one being axed. one, she played the bride of satan. i go, that's my daughter. the one covered in maggot, my girl. >> reporter: do you coach her? >> no. i couldn't. if i gave her any advice, she would go, really, what about popeye? okay, okay. fair play. >> reporter: and his next project is his first foray on broadway, playing the central big cat in "beg began tiger" at the baghdad zoo. >> what can i do, i'm a tiger. >> get out of my head. >> it wasn't cruel. it was lunch. my character is a bengal tiger who starts off in the zoo and then even which chully gets killed and becomes a ghost. doesn't spoil the play. and it's like that. >> reporter: you do the play for awhile.
>> five and a half months. >> reporter: how do you choose films? >> wait. no. choose them as they come in. >> reporter: you ever take a gig just for the check? >> many of them. they go, it's being to be incredible. this is a hit. the most dangerous thing, the check is in the mail, the other one we can't say on tv. >> reporter: if the 60-year-old robin could get the 30-year-old robin in a room, what would you tell him? >> enjoy. don't be running so fast. and that's it. how much have you loved? that's a simple question. how much you have loved doing what you do or loved being with the people? if you can answer that question pretty positively, you're doing okay. it's a good life. and you can look around, go, hey, nice day what are you going to do? jump off a deck after an interview. uh-huh. >> robin williams' new play opens in new york march 11th. when we come back, it's oscar, massachusetts. how four nominees, including three from "the fighter" pulled
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it also tastes good. nature valley -- 100% natural. 100% delicious. it's not an irish lilt, a texas drawl or a southern twang the accent that captured the hearts of theater-goers this year was straight out of boston. actors, many of them sounding like members of the kennedy clan, wracked up four oscar nominations this year. so, what's the charm of the swallowed r? for t.j. winnick, it a "sign of the times." >> reporter: there is always so much to see at the oscars. the dresses. the jewelry. and this year, there's a lot to hear. it's the sound of boston.
>> park the car in harvard yard. >> it's like a red sox cap come out of your mouth. >> reporter: six major motion pictures were set in and around the city last year and four boston-accented performances are nominated for an academy award. first up, jeremy renner. >> they told me he was coming down here to roll up on you with a glock 21. >> reporter: next, melissa leo. >> i'm sorry. i don't know who you are, why you're talking. >> reporter: and then, her co-star, amy adams. >> and from sal and your father and from me. >> reporter: and the uk-born christian bale. >> get inside, switch stances. >> his is so perfect, i had to stop myself and think, oh, my god, that's christian bale. >> reporter: so, how do they learn to sound authentically boston? >> you got to kind of feel where you gargle and then put your voice right there, where you gargle.
yeah, that's good. >> reporter: tom jones is a dialect coach to some of the biggest names in acting. he told me new englanders may have been talking this way since the pilgrims left england and landed at plymoth rock. that would turn a lobster into a lobsta. i was born in bean town but years in broadcasting have left my accent a little rusty. so, tom gave me a refresher course. all. that would be around here, in new york, it would be like all. all. >> reporter: all. >> talkative. >> reporter: talkative. >> daughters. >> reporter: daughters. turns out it was a bit like riding a bike. >> now say that. >> reporter: all talkative daughters thought they bought
straw. >> the standard? ben affleck and matt damon in "good will hunting." but mastering the accent is no walk in the park, even for some truly great actors. if you had to give an all-time razzie for boston accents? >> tim robbins. >> you're my son, me, dave boyle. >> i think we was good beyond the bad accent. but it's kind of like giving a pulitzer to a story with a lot of typos. >> reporter: so, when you watch the oscars, just remember, what sounds harsh to some may sound great to the academy. i'm t.j. winnick in boston. >> sounds wicked good to me. that's our report for tonight. from all of us at abc news, good night, america. >> dicky: next on "jimmy kimmel